We’ve all been in situations where tasks are left unfinished because team members assume someone else will do them. Confusion arises when team members think they’re accountable for a specific job. Sometimes, individuals unknowingly end up handling multiple roles.
The Accountability Chart, a tool introduced in Gino Wickman’s EOS model, can help solve these problems. This article will explain the theory and give practical advice to help you Build The Accountability Chart for your company. When everyone knows their roles and responsibilities, it will be easier to scale your business.
Before getting started, know that EOS, the Entrepreneurial Operating System, is an operating system comprised of tools and techniques to help companies break through the ceiling and increase traction.
Accountability Chart Vs. Organizational Chart:
The main distinction between accountability and organizational charts is becoming clearer. An organizational chart shows who is in charge of whom in a company. It outlines the hierarchy, making it clear who reports to whom.
Unlike the traditional organizational chart that primarily emphasizes the hierarchy and chain of command within an organization, an accountability chart takes a more focused approach, shedding light on individuals’ specific roles and responsibilities.
Think of an organizational chart as a family tree, illustrating the relationships and reporting structures. In contrast, an accountability chart resembles a detailed job description, providing a comprehensive overview of who is responsible for what tasks and duties within the organization.
The accountability chart goes beyond the surface-level hierarchy, offering a nuanced perspective on the functional aspects of the organization. It serves as a dynamic tool for outlining roles and ensuring clarity regarding tasks and responsibilities.
What Is The Importance Of Accountability Chart To Scale Your Business?
An Accountability Chart is essential for businesses looking to scale effectively and increase their overall impact. It brings clarity by clearly defining functions, roles, and the reporting structure.
The research by McKinsey reveals that organizations with clearly defined roles and built-in responsibility structures outperform their competitors by 76% when it comes to achieving strategic goals.
The Accountability Chart ensures the strategic placement of team members in positions where they can contribute most effectively to the organization’s goals. It is about recognizing the abilities and assigning the responsibilities that capitalize on those strengths.
Creating an accountability chart is a step-by-step process involving discussions and adjustments. It’s like putting a plan on paper, allowing everyone to see and understand how the team works together. The chart can change over time as the business grows and new needs arise.
Measure Accountability Through EOS Accountability Chart:
Measuring accountability in a business is like taking a look at how well everyone in the company is sticking to their responsibilities. Imagine leaders being asked to rate how accountable their team is on a scale of 1 to 10.
This rating helps leaders see how well the organization is doing overall, and it’s like holding up a mirror to see where improvements are needed.
For a company to work well, everyone, especially the leaders, must be on the same page about what’s expected from each person and when. The Accountability Chart clarifies who does what, especially if someone has multiple jobs.
The Entrepreneurial Operating System has another tool called an Organizational Checkup, which allows the whole team to participate in a session.
This checkup helps measure the quality of the team regarding accountability and other essential aspects. It’s like a health check for the organization to ensure everything runs smoothly.
The Accountability Chart and Organizational Checkup get a clear picture of a company’s performance and help to make improvements where needed.
Steps To Build The EOS Accountability Chart:
Here are the steps to build an effective EOS accountability chart to scale your business and maximize your impact:
Developing the Right Structure:
The first step involves defining the proper structure for your business. It means identifying the significant functions within your company and establishing the proper organizational framework.
The proper structure is essential for scaling the company effectively. Without the appropriate structure and people, growth will be hindered.
An important aspect is the need to let go of the existing organizational structure and instead focus on what is best for the company in the future. It’s about thinking strategically and not duplicating the past but considering what is ideal for the next six to twelve months or even a shorter time frame if the company is growing rapidly.
Structuring roles and responsibilities within a company is critical to ensuring smooth operations and achieving organizational goals. Consider the significant functions or departments it needs to structure your company effectively.
Three significant functions exist in every organization, regardless of size: Marketing and Sales, Operations, and finance.
I. Marketing and Sales: This involves selling and attracting customers to the organization and landing opportunities to secure work.
II. Operations: The focus here is on delivering services or products to customers effectively, aiming to create satisfied customers.
III. Finance: Managing cash flow and financial administration are crucial to the company’s stability and success.
Customization: It’s important to note that while these are the core functions, the way they are structured can vary from one company to another.
For instance, in some cases, Marketing and Sales might be separate functions, and Operations might be split into multiple categories, such as residential and commercial operations in the roofing business.
The same can apply to Finance, which might involve Finance and HR or Finance and IT.
The key idea is that all three primary functions must be strong for a business to thrive. A company will face challenges if one function is strong while the others are weak. For instance:
- If Sales and Marketing are strong but Operations and Finance are weak, the business might be attracting customers and delivering but losing money.
- If Sales and Marketing are weak but Operations and Finance are strong, the business might have talented people but struggle to attract customers.
To create a customized Accountability Chart for an organization, you start with these three primary functions and then tailor them to fit the unique structure of your business.
For example, in eos accountability chart examples, Sales and Marketing might be split into two seats, Operations into one, two, or three seats, and Finance might be divided into HR and Finance.
Single Accountability: To ensure clear ownership and minimize confusion, each major function within a company should have one person accountable for making it 100% strong. This individual should possess the necessary skills, experience, and know-how for the role.
Avoiding Weaknesses: It is critical not to neglect weaknesses in crucial areas. Overlooking weaknesses in functions like operations or Finance while concentrating solely on Marketing and Sales can lead to adverse consequences, including financial mismanagement and inefficiencies.
Prioritize Strong Processes: Building robust processes is paramount before scaling a business. Weak processes can result in inefficiencies, customer dissatisfaction, and financial challenges.
Adding Roles to Each Seat:
After determining the structure, the next step involves identifying the five significant roles within each seat. This helps clarify the roles and responsibilities each seat should deliver to the organization.
In addition to the three primary functions, every organization has two additional seats:
- Visionary: Typically, the organization’s founder is responsible for big ideas.
- Integrator: The person harmoniously orchestrates business operations, ensuring things run smoothly and executing plans.
Each position should have well-defined responsibilities, objectives, and key performance indicators (KPIs). This clarity helps employees understand their roles and what is expected of them, reducing confusion and inefficiencies.
Thinking functions, not titles simplify roles by focusing on specific tasks each person needs to do. It promotes teamwork, as success is based on contribution, not just titles. It helps avoid ego clashes by valuing what people do, not just their positions. Hence, this approach creates a practical, results-oriented workplace.
Addressing roles and responsibilities pertains to determining where specific roles, such as the receptionist/CSR, fit within the organization’s structure.
Forward-Thinking Approach: As a company grows, it’s important to adapt and evolve roles to meet changing needs. This might involve creating new positions, restructuring existing ones, or outsourcing certain functions. Flexibility in role structuring allows the organization to remain agile and responsive to market demands.
Matching the Right People to the Right Seats:
Once roles are assigned, the focus shifts to ensuring that the right individuals are in the appropriate positions. This step involves aligning skills and capabilities with the responsibilities of each role.
Placing the right person in the right seat is fundamental in organizational design, as it maximizes productivity. This process ultimately aims to strengthen the “people” component of the business by having the correct individuals in the right positions.
An accountability chart helps to make informed decisions about hiring and resource allocation.
GWC is a tool in the EOS model that helps to match the right person to the right seat within the company. It consists of three components:
- Get it: This means having a natural aptitude or the right kind of skills and mindset for a particular type of work.
- Want it: It implies having the motivation and interest to do the work. Motivation can’t be taught, so it’s vital that someone genuinely wants to do the job.
- Capacity to do: This involves having the necessary skills, training, experience, and know-how to perform the role effectively.
Nomination Process should be based on whether a person meets the criteria of GWC. Sometimes, a person might temporarily fill a role until the right person can be found or trained.
Homework and Implementation:
Step four entails putting the plan into action. It’s where you, as a leader, will be tasked with building this structure for the groups you oversee. This step involves taking a proactive approach to shaping the organization.
Promoting cross-functional collaboration is essential. Many tasks and projects in a company involve multiple departments or teams. Ensuring these groups work seamlessly together requires a clear understanding of how their roles complement each other and contribute to the company’s growth.
One person should take responsibility for coordinating the creation of the Accountability Chart. This person’s role is to ensure that the chart accurately represents the organization’s structure as agreed upon by the leadership team.
An Accountability Chart is a unique business tool because it improves communication and teamwork. But here’s the thing: some people get a bit worried when companies want to use this tool.
They might not like the idea of changing things or be concerned about their job titles or salaries. For that, do not overlook the benefits of the tool, like solving common problems in the company:
- Clear up confusion about ‘who does what.’
- Improve communication
- Make sure everyone isn’t doing too many things at once
Common Issues In A Company That An Accountability Chart Address:
These are the most common issues in companies that the accountability chart addresses and resolves:
Organizational Structure Issues:
This refers to problems related to how the company is organized. For example, it could involve having too many or too few positions or departments, leading to inefficiencies or gaps in responsibilities.
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These issues involve concerns about the people in the organization. It might include situations where some employees are not the right fit for their roles, or the organization has outgrown certain employees’ capabilities.
Empty seats refer to positions within the company that employees do not currently fill. These vacant seats can be problematic if critical functions or roles are left unattended, impacting the organization’s performance.
Overcapacity occurs when individuals or teams have more work to do than they can handle within their available time and resources. This can lead to stress, burnout, and decreased productivity.
This issue arises when the organization does not clearly define responsibilities and tasks. It can lead to role confusion, overlapping responsibilities, and inefficiencies.
Lack of Strategic Focus:
Sometimes, organizations fail to align their structure and roles with their strategic goals. This can result in a lack of clarity about the company’s direction and priorities.
Resource Allocation Challenges:
It may be challenging to allocate resources (personnel and budget) effectively across different functions or departments.
Poor communication and coordination among teams and departments can also be considered issues. It can lead to misunderstandings, delays, and inefficiencies.
Benefits Of The EOS Accountability Chart:
The accountability chart is essential in organizational management, offering a structured and functional approach to leadership and task distribution. Following are some benefits of this chart that signify its importance.
The accountability chart defers conventional hierarchical structures by emphasizing essential functions over traditional job titles.
Firstly, the accountability chart clarifies the organization by defining and assigning responsibilities for specific functions. This clarity eliminates confusion about who is accountable for what, streamlining decision-making processes and promoting efficiency.
Secondly, the chart facilitates a better understanding of the organization’s functions and how they interconnect. It helps to compartmentalize tasks, allowing for a smoother handoff between different processes and functions.
This, in turn, aids in identifying potential capacity-related issues and ensures that individuals are not overloaded with responsibilities, contributing to a more balanced and manageable workload.
Additionally, the accountability chart promotes a culture of transparency and openness within the organization. Delineating responsibilities encourages honest communication and collaboration among team members.
The focus shifts from individual ego to collective efforts for the company’s greater good, contributing toward a healthier and more cohesive work environment.
The accountability chart also plays a crucial role in issue resolution. When a problem arises, the accountability chart ensures a designated person is responsible for addressing the issue.
Furthermore, the accountability chart supports effective delegation and career growth. It helps individuals recognize when they have reached their capacity in a particular role, signaling the need to delegate tasks to others.
This “delegate and elevate” process allows for a better distribution of responsibilities and provides opportunities for individuals to take on more strategic and impactful roles within the organization.
Final Thoughts on Implementing an Accountability Chart:
Building an EOS Accountability Chart helps scale a business by clarifying who does what and ensuring the right people are in the right roles. Focusing on functions, not just titles, brings clarity to responsibilities.
This clarity saves time, aligns the team, and enhances efficiency. The accountability chart is a dynamic tool that evolves with the organization, ensuring everyone contributes effectively, reducing confusion, and promoting growth.
What do you think of building an accountability chart for your company? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!
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What is an Accountability Chart?
An Accountability Chart is a visual tool that outlines the roles and responsibilities within an organization to ensure clarity in functions and reporting structures.
How can I start building an Accountability Chart?
Begin by identifying critical functions needed for success, aligning them with roles, and considering who best suits each responsibility. Click here for more.
Does an Accountability Chart benefit small businesses?
Yes, even small businesses benefit. It establishes a foundation for clear communication and scalable growth as the company expands.
How often should I update my Accountability Chart?
Regularly review and update the chart, especially during growth phases, organizational changes, or when new roles are introduced.